Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Today in History: 1972: Israeli Commandos Storm Hijacked Jet

Thirty-five years ago today, Israeli solders stormed an airplane and rescued 100 people being held hostage.

Why don't we follow the example of Israel in terms of security and dealing with terrorists?

Below is a clip from an article on the BBC.

Twelve Israeli soldiers disguised as maintenance staff have stormed a hijacked Sabena Boeing at Lod airport in Tel Aviv and released the 100 people on board.
Two of the Arab hijackers were shot dead and their two female companions were captured, although one of them was injured in the attack.

Six of the passengers were also wounded in the gun battle. The 90 passengers and 10 crew had been held hostage for 23 hours.

The end to their ordeal came when two vans, said to be carrying repair men, drove onto the runway and approached the plane.

Two of the men burst into the cockpit and said they were taking over the jet

The men got out and pretended to begin work on the airliner but suddenly climbed onto the wings and opened the emergency doors.

The British pilot, Captain Reginald Levy, said: "Everyone of us is lucky to be alive. I have had some tough times but this was my toughest."

The airliner was hijacked after leaving Vienna, where it had made a stop on a flight from Brussels to Tel Aviv.

Capt Levy said: "Two of the men burst into the cockpit and said they were taking over the jet."

He was ordered to fly the plane to Lod, where the gunmen offered to free the passengers in exchange for 100 Arab prisoners held by the Israelis.

While the plane was sitting on the tarmac, the Israelis managed to let down the tyres and empty the fuel tanks to prevent it taking off again.

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan took charge of negotiations with the hijackers, initially offering to free the Arab prisoners in return for the release of the hostages.

Later Israeli officials said there was never any intention to release the prisoners. It was simply a delaying tactic.

The gunmen belonged to the Black September Organisation of Palestine guerrillas, a splinter group of the PLO.

One of the rescued passengers, Mor Weiss, from Brooklyn, told The Times: "The soldiers opened the four doors, two on either side at the same time. Immediately the Arabs started shooting wildly.

"The troops fired back and I saw the younger of the two male hijackers fall with a bullet through his forehead. Seconds later the other one was shot."

Mr Weiss said he had been picked on because he was wearing a skull cap. He was sent to the back of the plane and made to sit with a stick of dynamite between his feet.

Captain Levy, who comes from Slough, told a news conference, the drama had happened on his 50th birthday. His wife had accompanied him on the flight so they could have a celebratory birthday meal in Tel Aviv.


Ol' BC said...

Why don't we follow the example? We seem to be afraid someone will get hurt. There are no "antiseptic" wars. People die. Innocent people die. If we had gone in aggressively, fewer may have died overall than have to date. Of course the Donks would still have criticized because that's all they can muster.

Texas Truth said...

ol' bc: We need to return to the times when men were men and the USA carried a big stick.

Patton and MacArthur who have commanded this war so much differently.

Send in the tanks and the airstrikes. "Help us or suffer the consequences" is the messaqge that should be sent to these people.